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Posted

A student from Argentina said he was "exploited" by a work-study program at a McDonald's franchise in Pennsylvania.

Jorge Rios, 27, came to the United States in December 2012. As part of a J-1 summer work travel program with a student work visa from the U.S. State Department, Rios said he was not paid overtime and had to be on call at all times of the day as an employee at a McDonald's near Harrisburg, Pa.

He and about 17 other foreign students say they paid around $3,000 to $4,000 for visa costs, plane tickets and other expenses.

"We have been exploited by McDonald's because we have been working for McDonald's but we did not receive overtime or the fact that we have been put to be on-call all day had to do with the way McDonald's designed our schedules," he said.

The State Department does not charge fees for people to participate in the summer work travel program, which requires jobs to be seasonal or temporary. Instead, private companies charge fees to help bring students to the U.S. as in this case.

Rios, a student at the National University of Misiones, or the Universidad Nacional de Misiones, in Posadas, Argentina, came to the U.S. during his summer in the Southern Hemisphere.

Rios complained to the State Department about the private "host" company that brought him to the U.S. A spokeswoman for the State Department said they are "investigating the situation," adding that they conduct site visits to ensure the health and safety of participants. Last summer, the State Department conducted 650 site visits in 31 states.

In the U.S. last summer, there were 73,808 people who participated in the summer work travel program, which has the goal of providing an American cultural experience to foreign students.

During the winter months, there were 8,215 program participants like Rios. In this cycle, the State Department conducted 226 site visits in 24 states so far.

Rios started a petition in partnership with the National Guestworker Alliance, asking Don Thompson, McDonald's Corporation's president and CEO, for overtime pay and to sign an agreement with the alliance to guarantee "basic labor standards" for guest workers like him.

Rios and 14 other visiting workers have staged protests at McDonald's in Pennsylvania and plan to stage a protest in New York City this week. The scheduled hours for the workers varied widely from week to week, from a few hours to 45 or 60 hours a week without overtime, they said.

"We expected to have 40 hours of work a week, but we were given as little as four hours a week at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour," Rios said in the petition. "The employer knew we were desperate for more hours, and he kept us on call to come in with 30 minutes' notice all day and night. I didn't even have time to visit the public library."

A spokesman for McDonald's Corporation provided this statement: "We take the well-being of the employees working in McDonald's restaurants seriously. We are working closely with the franchisee to investigate the claims surrounding his program."

Though a host program is expected to provide housing at fair market pricing, Rios said he and the other foreign workers paid $300 a month to the owner of the McDonald's franchise to live in child-size bunk beds in a basement apartment he owned.

"As many as eight of us lived in a single basement. We slept on bunk beds made for children that shook and squeaked. We had no privacy whatsoever," he said.

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Posted

What? There are no Macs in Argentina for him to be exploited? :shifty:

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Posted

So ONE franchise was the problem. :rolleyes:

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Posted

Sounds like things were so much better in his country. :rolleyes:

Lots of USA citizens don't even have a job.

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Posted

"minimum wage of $7.25 an hour" Really what did you think you were going to get for working at a fast food place?

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Posted

Lots of USA citizens don't even have a job.

Which doesn't excuse mistreating or screwing over people who do happen to have a job.

The notion of "you should count yourself lucky" just doesn't apply.

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Posted

"minimum wage of $7.25 an hour" Really what did you think you were going to get for working at a fast food place?

Please read the article:

"Rios and 14 other visiting workers have staged protests at McDonald's in Pennsylvania and plan to stage a protest in New York City this week. The scheduled hours for the workers varied widely from week to week, from a few hours to 45 or 60 hours a week without overtime, they said.

We expected to have 40 hours of work a week, but we were given as little as four hours a week at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour," Rios said in the petition. "The employer knew we were desperate for more hours, and he kept us on call to come in with 30 minutes' notice all day and night. I didn't even have time to visit the public library."

if true, that's sound fishy from Mcdonalds.

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Posted

Please read the article:

"Rios and 14 other visiting workers have staged protests at McDonald's in Pennsylvania and plan to stage a protest in New York City this week. The scheduled hours for the workers varied widely from week to week, from a few hours to 45 or 60 hours a week without overtime, they said.

We expected to have 40 hours of work a week, but we were given as little as four hours a week at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour," Rios said in the petition. "The employer knew we were desperate for more hours, and he kept us on call to come in with 30 minutes' notice all day and night. I didn't even have time to visit the public library."

if true, that's sound fishy from Mcdonalds.

I read the article, no mention of a glorious promised 10 dollars an hour or anything else.

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Posted

if true, that's sound fishy from Mcdonalds.

^ It would be the McDonald's franchise owner's fault -- not the corporation's.

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Posted

^ It would be the McDonald's franchise owner's fault -- not the corporation's.

Yes, of course; these franchises are legally independent i think so.

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Posted

^ The corporation is still going to come down on the franchise owner, when they find out he's done something illegal.

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Posted

^ The corporation is still going to come down on the franchise owner, when they find out he's done something illegal.

The overtime issue confuses me. Overtime is not a legal right. It is a benefit no different from something like holiday or personal leave.

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Posted

I read the article, no mention of a glorious promised 10 dollars an hour or anything else.

They're not complaining about the hourly rate. Clearly you didn't read the article. Not properly anyway. If you had, you'd know what they were complaining about.

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Posted

They're not complaining about the hourly rate. Clearly you didn't read the article. Not properly anyway. If you had, you'd know what they were complaining about.

"We have been exploited by McDonald's because we have been working for McDonald's but we did not receive overtime or the fact that we have been put to be on-call all day had to do with the way McDonald's designed our schedules," he said."

Not getting overtime is not exploitation and neither is being on call. Sounds like he just woke up to the harsh realities of the US fast food workforce.

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Posted

"We have been exploited by McDonald's because we have been working for McDonald's but we did not receive overtime or the fact that we have been put to be on-call all day had to do with the way McDonald's designed our schedules," he said."

Not getting overtime is not exploitation and neither is being on call. Sounds like he just woke up to the harsh realities of the US fast food workforce.

if i work past my 40 hrs u should be payed over time, if your put on call u should be payed overtime. being on call is an inconvinience

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Posted

"We have been exploited by McDonald's because we have been working for McDonald's but we did not receive overtime or the fact that we have been put to be on-call all day had to do with the way McDonald's designed our schedules," he said."

Not getting overtime is not exploitation and neither is being on call. Sounds like he just woke up to the harsh realities of the US fast food workforce.

That doesn't have ANYthing to do with the point I was refuting!

Sheesh... Don't you lot ever read anything properly?

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That doesn't have ANYthing to do with the point I was refuting!

Sheesh... Don't you lot ever read anything properly?

Really? You didn't say anything about what the people were complaining about? Do you really think people are that dumb? You said "If you had, you'd know what they were complaining about." I gave you a direct quote showing what they were complaining about. Looks like the only one having issues understanding or reading here is you.

if i work past my 40 hrs u should be payed over time, if your put on call u should be payed overtime. being on call is an inconvinience

Notice the way you worded that though. You said past "YOUR 40 hours" as if that is all you expected to work. Overtime pay is not a right. If its not in your work contract, that's your own fault. If this guy didn't have it in his contract to be paid overtime, he has no ground to stand on. If being on call is such a big inconvenience, you don't take a job that requires it. It is not a hard concept. This kid flew in from another country on the companies dime. That means he signed contracts before he ever left. He should read his contract before accepting the job. It is that simple. If I accept a job that says I will never get overtime, I am not going to complain about exploitation. I am going to not accept that job if it is that big of a deal.

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Posted

Really? You didn't say anything about what the people were complaining about? Do you really think people are that dumb? You said "If you had, you'd know what they were complaining about." I gave you a direct quote showing what they were complaining about. Looks like the only one having issues understanding or reading here is you.

In the immortal words of Charlie Brown... "Good grief."

I replied to the Laughing Man because the point he raised was NOT what they were bitching about and pointed out he clearly hadn't read the article. Then you stuck your oar in, quoting part of the article, but what the hell does that have to do with my pointing out Laughing Man's error?

I didn't bother to quote the relevant parts of the original article because it's IN THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE. If people are too damn lazy to read, I'm not going to pull out the specific parts for them. They need to quit being so lazy and actually READ the original article instead, so "helpful" folks like you are just perpetuating the lazy attitudes.

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Posted

The overtime issue confuses me. Overtime is not a legal right. It is a benefit no different from something like holiday or personal leave.

By Federal law, you must be paid time and a half pay, when you go over 40 hours per week.

I don't know if this does apply to non-US citizens.

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In the immortal words of Charlie Brown... "Good grief."

I replied to the Laughing Man because the point he raised was NOT what they were bitching about and pointed out he clearly hadn't read the article. Then you stuck your oar in, quoting part of the article, but what the hell does that have to do with my pointing out Laughing Man's error?

I didn't bother to quote the relevant parts of the original article because it's IN THE ORIGINAL ARTICLE. If people are too damn lazy to read, I'm not going to pull out the specific parts for them. They need to quit being so lazy and actually READ the original article instead, so "helpful" folks like you are just perpetuating the lazy attitudes.

So in other words, it did have something to do with what you said. Remember you claimed it have ANYTHING to do with it. Thanks for letting everyone know you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.

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So in other words, it did have something to do with what you said. Remember you claimed it have ANYTHING to do with it. Thanks for letting everyone know you are just arguing for the sake of arguing.

Nope. .Their hourly rate is never mentioned as being the point they're complaining about, just the hours worked. So his point had nothing to do with the complaint.

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By Federal law, you must be paid time and a half pay, when you go over 40 hours per week.

I don't know if this does apply to non-US citizens.

I have never gotten overtime pay in my life, even when I worked 60 hours. The concept doesn't even make sense to me. It is not like you are magically more productive after 40 hours and deserve more money. Get paid for the job you do. Simple as that.

Nope. .Their hourly rate is never mentioned as being the point they're complaining about, just the hours worked. So his point had nothing to do with the complaint.

And I quoted what they were actually complaining about... so yes, what I said did have to do with it. So again, you are still just arguing to argue without a valid point.Remember, we are talking about the quote I gave, not what someone else said.

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Nope. .Their hourly rate is never mentioned as being the point they're complaining about, just the hours worked. So his point had nothing to do with the complaint.

"We expected to have 40 hours of work a week, but we were given as little as four hours a week at the minimum wage of $7.25 an hour,"

That's defiantly complaining since it really didn't need mentioning.

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I have never gotten overtime pay in my life, even when I worked 60 hours. The concept doesn't even make sense to me. It is not like you are magically more productive after 40 hours and deserve more money. Get paid for the job you do. Simple as that.

^ You must not be in the USA.

Wage and Hour Division (WHD)

Overtime Pay

Overview

The federal overtime provisions are contained in the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA). Unless exempt, employees covered by the Act must receive overtime pay for hours worked over 40 in a workweek at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay. There is no limit in the Act on the number of hours employees aged 16 and older may work in any workweek. The Act does not require overtime pay for work on Saturdays, Sundays, holidays, or regular days of rest, unless overtime is worked on such days.

The Act applies on a workweek basis. An employee's workweek is a fixed and regularly recurring period of 168 hours

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Posted

Jorge Rios, 27, came to the United States in December 2012. As part of a J-1 summer work travel program with a student work visa from the U.S. State Department, Rios said he was not paid overtime and had to be on call at all times of the day as an employee at a McDonald's near Harrisburg, Pa.

He and about 17 other foreign students say they paid around $3,000 to $4,000 for visa costs, plane tickets and other expenses.

Who the **** gets a J1 exchange visa to work at McDonalds lol?

Generally speaking a J1 visa is so you can get work experience in your related field. So if you're training to be a pilot, with a J1 visa you could build up work experience by working as instructor.

If you're getting it so you can work at McDonalds, you're seriously seriously wasting your money...

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